Big Y executes sale-lease agreement in Lee

Posted

Tuesday January 24, 2012

Berkshire Eagle Staff

LEE -- Two months after opening its new 51,500-square-foot supermarket on Pleasant Street, Big Y Foods Inc. of Springfield has sold the 9.9-acre parcel to its Ohio-based developer.

Big Y sold the property for $14.6 million to FDIC 5 LLC of Boardman, Ohio, which is managed by Anthony L. Cocca, the principal owner of Cocca Development Ltd. and president of the Penn-Ohio Mortgage Co.

Big Y spent between $14 million and $16 million to build the supermarket.

Frank Horacek, Big Y's vice president of real estate and development, said selling the land to the developer was a way for the family-owned supermarket chain to finance the construction. "It's an alternate form of financing," Horacek said.

The supermarket chain has signed a 20-year lease with the parcel's new owner, according to documents on file at the Middle Berkshire Registry of Deeds in Pittsfield. The lease includes four separate parcels, three on Pleasant Street and one on Old Pleasant Street.

Big Y can also extend the lease for six additional periods of five years, and has been granted the right of first refusal to purchase the property if it is put up for sale.

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FDIC 5 LLC has obtained a $13.1 million mortgage on the supermarket property with PeoplesBank of Holyoke, the documents state.

According to its website, Cocca Development Ltd. is a multifaceted real estate development and holding company that owns commercial and residential properties in 14 states including Massachusetts. Big Y Foods, which operates 59 supermarkets in Massachusetts and Connecticut, is one of several national, regional and local tenants situated in strip malls that Cocca Development has worked with.

"The entity that we sold it to was essentially the same entity that we worked with on construction and development," Hornacek said.

Big Y had bought the Pleasant Street property for $4.25 million in September 2010 from the F.L. Roberts Co. of Springfield. F.L. Roberts formerly operated Diesel Dan's truck stop plaza on the lot, which is located off Route 2 of the Massachusetts Turnpike. The company planned to convert the space into a $21.5 million travel plaza, but sold the property to Big Y when the economic downturn caused those plans to fall through.

Big Y opened its new Lee supermarket in early November. The chain also operates Berkshire County stores in Adams, Great Barrington, North Adams and Pittsfield. Big Y has had a presence in the Berkshires since 1984 when it purchased the former Adams Supermarket chain.

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:

tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6224.

On Twitter: @tonydobrow.


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